On the 243rd episode of The Copywriter Club podcast, Yara Golden (dare we say it) drops gems you need to take note of. Yara Golden fell into the world of copywriting unexpectedly and said goodbye to her relationship coaching days. Now, she runs an agency of copywriters on the basis of storytelling.
Here’s what we covered:
- How our greatest strengths can become our biggest weaknesses.
- When things seem to be falling apart, how do you pick up the pieces?
- The art of not being able to screw up being yourself.
- Transitioning from relationship coach to email copywriting magician.
- 3 lessons to improve yourself and the relationships you have with others.
- Going against the grain and breaking the copy “rules.”
- The #1 thing business owners need.
- How to strategically take on multiple clients at a time while managing a team.
- Reaching the epiphany step in the story selling method.
- The secret to being the character that your ideal client or customer wants to be.
- The better way to be customer-centric and close sales.
- The truth about negative inspiration and why it works for entrepreneurs.
- The fine line of taking in knowledge and closing off what makes us unique.
- How to revive an inactive email list. – Hint: Don’t say sorry.
- Are copy blocks the new day rates?
- Mentorships and helping others sparkle as they grow their businesses.
- The mindset shift between self-employed and entrepreneur.
- How to step into the spotlight when you don’t feel you deserve it.
- Taking the feelings of discomfort and using them to your full advantage.
- Working through a bad relationship with money and coming up with a strategic plan.
- The merging of projects and companies: How can this be done?
- How to write copy without VOC.
This episode is a must-listen. If not, a must-read. Check out the transcript below.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Kira: Maybe the best thing about having a podcast is the opportunity to talk to so many smart and accomplished copywriters and marketing experts. Even the writers we talked to who are just starting out have unique ideas and perspectives. I think we both can safely say we feel lucky to talk to such talented people and get to learn while we’re doing it.
And today’s guest for the 243rd episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast is Yara Golden. And she shared some of her early struggles in her business, the way she packages and sells her services, the lessons she’s learned about boundaries and so much more. There are a ton of great takeaways in this episode.
Rob: Before we talk to Yara, let’s talk to you, our listeners, about the Copywriter Think Tank. That’s our mastermind for copywriters and other marketers who want to do more in their business in their work. Maybe you’ve dreamed about creating a product, podcast, and you want to build a mini agency, like the one that Yara built, that she’s going to tell us about here in just a minute, or a product company.
Maybe you want to become just the best copywriter in your industry or in your niche, or the person that has the high-paying clients and have them know that you’re the one that they should be calling. That’s the kind of thing that we help copywriters in the Copywriter Think Tank do. To learn more, visit copywriterthinktank.com, and maybe you can join this group of extraordinary business owners too.
Kira: Before we get into the interview, we should note that after a couple of minutes, Rob’s internet went down. So, if you’re wondering why I hog the mic, and ask all the questions while Rob is quiet, while I didn’t kick him off the show, it’s just a little bit of trouble.
Rob: Not yet.
Kira: Not yet. So, let’s jump into our conversation with Yara and find out about her path into copywriting.
Yara: Oh, my gosh, it’s such a great question because I have no idea. I think when I look back on my life, writing has always been a huge part of me, right? I tell people, I didn’t choose writing, writing chose me. And so, and at the end of 2013, I was going through a divorce. And it was really the first time in my life that I was going to be on my own, responsible for my own bills. And now, it wasn’t just me, it was me and my two kids, right?
And so, I was very much thinking, how am I going to provide the life that I’m used to that I want without having to trade my time for it, right? And so, and I remember this conversation I had with a girlfriend back then. And she said, “You can always get a job at Nordstrom.” And I felt this fire ignite inside of me. And it was indignation, right, where I was like, “I don’t work at Nordstrom, I shop there.”
And it’s nothing against retail, there’s any job that you want to do is perfectly fine, but it was that moment of knowing that I was capable of so much more. And the fact that that’s where she had boxed me in just enraged me. And I was fortunate enough to have been around a lot of people who were in the internet marketing space. There was a lot of coaches and coaching groups and things like that.
And I started seeing people were making money by getting on the phone and having a really cool conversation with people. And I was like, “Can you sign me up for that? I can totally do that.” And then, I went through this whole journey of like, well, what can you actually help people with? And I think at the time, it was really going through and navigating the divorce process and becoming someone else on the other side of that, right, like my personal growth journey.
And so, I became a Relationship Coach. At a time when I absolutely could not believe people were paying me for relationship advice, because I was like, “Do they not see the disaster I just created in my life?” But it was learning that, it was navigating that and how I was going through the process that was inspiring them, that was encouraging them, and motivating them to do things differently than they thought they needed to be done.
And so, growing that business, I needed to become a marketer, and I needed to become a business person, and I needed to become all of these different things that I’d had no experience with. And writing became the thing I really leaned on and the way that I marketed my business. And I really was that person that thought, I’m going to write that one email, or I’m going to write that one Facebook post and it’s going to be the thing that changes everything for me.
And slowly and surely, I realized that that wasn’t actually the case, but that’s really how I got into writing sales copy and really using it as something that I could leverage to grow a business.
Rob: Yeah, tell us a little bit more about that process of rethinking who you were, rebuilding, not just from a business or work standpoint, but what you were doing as a human being, as you’re going through that divorce and figuring out what it was that you wanted to do.
Yara: Yeah. So, it’s actually really interesting. And I’m glad you asked this, because I don’t think a lot of people hone in on that piece of the story. My ex-husband and I had done a ton of personal relationship. If there was a Tony Robbins event, we were there. If there was a program, we did it. If there was a book, we read it. But I find that people come to personal development at one of two points in their lives, typically, right? You’re either on a high, and you don’t want it to end, or you’re at a low and you’re like, something’s got to change.
I wasn’t in any of those situations when I was going through personal development. And so, I learned and conceptualized a lot of the stuff that I was learning. And I became really, really good at looking at other people and saying, well, you’re significance-driven, or you should really look into this or that or the other, but I’ve never looked at myself through the lens of personal development.
And so, it was really when I hit that low in my own life, where I was like, oh, my gosh, my life is falling apart, my marriage is falling apart. The people around me are not really the people that I want to be around. I’m not showing up as how I really want to be. And the common denominator is me, right?
I’m the one thing that all of these situations have in common, maybe I should start taking a look at me. And again, that wasn’t completely self-driven. There were a lot of people around me who were years ahead of me in the personal development game and the transformation game. And so, I was really, really fortunate to be able to look around me and see people that were already in that messy middle and coming out on the other side.
But it was a lot of journaling. It was a lot of talking really, really honest, vulnerable conversations. My ex-husband and I actually have a really, really great friendship. And we did from the moment that we decided to separate. We were like, we still love each other, we just don’t want to be married anymore. And we have these two amazing kids and they deserve a happy co-parenting relationship from here on out.
And so, it was just a lot of, I mean, it sounds cliché, because vulnerability is such a catchword right now, but it was a lot of vulnerability and honesty and authenticity of saying, “You know what, I like this, I don’t like that. I want this, I don’t want that.” And the process of figuring out what those preferences were was really difficult for me because I had been showing up as such a people pleaser for so many years that I’d really lost who I was in the process.
Kira: Yeah. Well, maybe we could dig deeper into that, the people pleasing side because so many copywriters that we chat with in a community are people pleasers. I’m myself included. So, what advice would you give to someone else who is struggling and shows up as a people person, people pleaser? And that can be a struggle in business, especially what else has helped you work through that, so that it’s a superpower and not something that actually hurts us?
Yara: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think every single thing that we, every strength is also our greatest weakness, right? And so, I do think that this ability to empathize and to have compassion for people is one of the things that makes us really strong writers, right? Because I can put myself in the shoes of the person whose voice and tone I’m wanting to capture, or into the story that we’re wanting to share with an audience, right?
So, that’s the superpower. And I think that on the other side of that coin is not respecting your own boundaries and your own wants and desires and bending and molding yourself to be what you think other people want you to be. And in business, I know that that’s shown up for me as payout. We want you to write this sequence using so and so’s templates.
And I’m like, I don’t do that. If you’re coming to me because you want me to write your story, I’m going to write it my way, or else I’m not going to be happy with it, you’re not going to be happy with it. And if you want it to be done in that style, go to that person, that’s okay. And there’s no scarcity around that, it’s just like, there’s seven-and-a-half billion people on this planet. There’s more than enough people who are going to want what I do the way that I do it, that I don’t have to try to be something that I’m not, right?
And I think, to just put with that is this idea that I heard someone say, you can’t screw up being yourself, right? You are who you are. And that’s the one thing that you will 100% be perfect at your entire life is being yourself. And it’s only when we try to be something other than what we truly are, that we feel insecure, that we doubt our abilities, and that we question our choices and our decisions.
And so, when I really integrated that into my beliefs, I was just like, why would I ever try to be something that I’m not? I’m not going to do it well, right?
Rob: So, I want to go back to what you were saying about, okay, so you knew what you had to do, you wanted to create this new career for yourself or something that would support your family. And you looked around, you had a couple of connections in that internet space. But what did the pitch look like? How did you make that connection in order to get those first couple of projects as you started to grow this new business?
Yara: I feel like so much, people like to say, it’s not luck, it’s hard work, and it’s all of these things. But in my case, I really, really was fortunate. James and I started dating very shortly after my divorce. And he was the person who prompted me to become a Relationship Coach. And as I was getting my feet wet in the entrepreneurial space, he already had years and years of experience in corporate and as an agency and with coaches and all of these things.
And so, he signed up for Mastermind. And I just got to go with him as his Plus One. And so, I was in this room full of sharks, right? I was swimming with the sharks, and I felt like a tiny little minnow in the room. And I was hell bent on making this relationship coaching business work. And so, as I looked around at all the strategies that were being shared, and the tips and the tricks and theories, I was just like, how do I make this work for this?
And one of the things that our mentor at that point, Russell Brunson, would say over and over again, he would say, “When you find your one thing, it’s like the world opens up to you, right? It’s like a superhighway, things just start happening.” And I was like, “This is my thing. Why isn’t that happening for me?”
And like I said, I was really leaning into writing when it came to relationship coaching. And so, I would post every single day on Facebook. I was typing out the beats of my heart. I was just pouring my soul out to these people. And I was what I like to call Mr. Nice Guy, right?
Where I was like, I’m just going to add so much value, that at some point, people are going to throw their credit cards at me, it’s going to be amazing. I don’t want to make offers, I just want to help people. And so, I was showing up like that. And one of the members of our Mastermind, she ran an organic skincare company, came up to me one day, and she said, “Yara, I absolutely love everything that you write. It’s so resonates with me. I feel like I could have written about half of the things that you’ve put out. Have you ever thought of writing for another company?”
And at that point, I was making $2500 a month as a Relationship Coach, and I was trading time for money, big time. And I was just like, “No, I haven’t ever thought of doing that, but would you like me to write for your company?” And she said, “Yeah.” And I was like, “Okay, let’s do $2500 a month, and I’ll write 12 emails for you per month. I’ll deliver them in increments of three emails per week, so that you can have a great relationship with your audience.”
She said, yes. And I immediately shut down my coaching business. And I think that that was one of the pivotal decisions that I made, because it was almost like, I had so much on the line but at the same time, I had nothing to lose, because it was such a small amount of money. And I guess I can say that now, at the time it was like, this is all I’m making, but I had replaced it immediately.
And what happened with her audience was that, when we started sharing her story from her heart in a way that showcased her products, and the reason behind why she had created the products, rather than these are the ingredients that they contain, or those are the bad ones that we left out, her audience came to life.
And we were able to take those emails, run them as Facebook ads, right? We were testing material with her email audience, and then going to Facebook and to paid advertising and being able to acquire people for a much cheaper price than she had been before. And we really, really bolted on this back end to her business because she’d been so focused on acquisition, but not nurturing, or repeat customers.
And so, when she shared that within our Mastermind community, it was like this onslaught. So, I went from having one customer to close to 10 or 12, that were just 12 emails a month and that was my package, right? I was like, 12 emails a month, 2500 bucks. And it just went gangbusters. And I was thrilled, because I was like, oh, my gosh, I actually found my thing and it’s working and the universe opened up to me. And it was just this crazy ride.
Kira: I can relate to that feeling when I found copywriting as well. Can we go back to RELATIONSHIP Coaching before we move on and get into the other parts of your career. I would love to know from that time, that concentrated time focusing on Relationship Coaching, working with clients, writing about it, going through your own shift and relationships, what are two to three lessons you learned that have stuck with you that you would pass on to a best friend in a relationship that could help all of us in our different relationships?
Yara: Yeah. So, I think one of the biggest things that I learned for myself, and then I saw it mirrored in all of my clients was that, we are so terribly afraid that, one, we’re not good enough, and two, that we won’t be loved. And so, we try to bend and shape and mold ourselves into what we believe other people want us to be.
And when we do that, and you’ve got to consider that the other person is also doing the same thing, right, because they’re also scared of the exact same things. And so, when we do that, we’re not actually in relationship with each other, we’re in relationship with our representatives, right? We send out our representative and we’re like, “Okay, this is what I think you want me to be, and you’re sending what you think I want you to be.”
And eventually, that gets exhausting, right? And we eventually don’t feel like sending our representative out and the real us comes out. And then, that’s met with, what the heck is this? Who are you? Why are you being this way? And it almost confirms that we’re not enough and that we won’t be loved, right? And so, so that’s a huge thing. I tell people, I’m just like, you’ve got to show up as who you really, truly are.
And if you love someone, love them enough to show them that version of you, right? The ugly version, the angry version, the sad version, the goofy version, the insecure version, all of you, all of you. And that’s what I believe true love really is. It’s not hiding those pieces and parts of you, it’s showing up with them and saying like, “Hey, I’ve got these broken, hurt wounded pieces and parts of me, will you love them? Will you help me heal them?”
And when you find that match, it’s such a beautiful space, because it allows you to grow together and to heal together and to become together, right? And so, if we want to look at that through the entrepreneurial lens, our biggest fear as an entrepreneur because we’re human is that we’re not good enough and that we won’t be loved. Our greatest fear as copywriters is that we won’t be good enough and that our work won’t be loved.
And so, we’re afraid and we hold back, and we try to be things that we’re not. And it just repeats, the cycle just repeats, right? And so, it’s really owning who you are, and being confident and secure in that, that allows you to create and to show up and to help and to serve in the ways that you’re truly meant to.
Kira: What are some examples of how you’ve done that in your business? Whether it’s more recently, or years ago, when you were like, I’ve got to show up as my full self, same way I have to do in relationships, I got to do that in business. What are some examples of that?
Yara: Actually, one of the biggest examples of that is that I am a copywriter, but I buck all traditional copywriting rules, right? I don’t know. I’m like the anti-copywriter almost and not because… not the person or the work itself, but I’m like, you’ve got to do it your way, right?
I really think that if we look at copywriting, it’s not about strategies and tricks and hacks and templates and all of these things. It’s about connecting with an audience and helping them understand the value that is available to them when they say, yes, right?
And so, I’m like, I don’t want. Actually, I could tell you a quick story. When I first started my entrepreneurial journey, James actually handed me a book by john Carlton. I don’t remember which one it was, but he handed it to me, and he’s like, “You’re such a great writer. I bet you if you read this, you could become a copywriter and make millions.”
And I was like, “Okay.” And so, I sat there by the window, drinking coffee, and I read through this entire book, and I completely lost my voice. I was like, I can’t believe that anybody’s read a single word that I’ve written because I don’t do it like that, right? And I lost my spark, I lost my voice, I lost my confidence to actually present an offer to talk to my audience. And it was awful. It was absolutely awful.
And so, years later, when I now found myself writing for businesses and things were working and emails were converting, and people were reaching out, I was like, maybe I had it right, or maybe I didn’t need to do all of those things. And maybe I didn’t need to construct emails and I could just actually write from my heart and connect with people.
And so, it was the process of trusting myself, right, and being okay with knowing that I tell people all the time, I’m like, you’re not pizza. I’m not pizza. Not everybody going to like you, and that’s okay, right? And so, I understand that not everybody is going to like my style of writing, or the length of my emails, or the content that I send out.
But the people who do are the people that I’m truly meant to serve. And that’s where my focus is. It’s not on trying to win the hearts of people who don’t love me, it’s on really serving and adding value to the people who do.
Kira: And where, as you have grown, and you took on those first few clients $2500 a month, those retainers, how have you grown since then? What is your business look like today? What type of clients are you working with today? And what type of work are you doing with them?
Yara: Yeah. So, I think the very first thing that changed was that I was terrified. I thought, as soon as I make money, as soon as I make, I have a $10,000 a month, everything’s going to be perfect, and all things are going to have magically resolved themselves. And I found myself feeling like I was strapped to a rocket.
I tell everyone, I’m like, I felt wily coyote strapped to a rocket, and the only thought that could go through my mind was like, don’t screw it up, don’t screw it up, don’t screw it up. Once it was more regular, I eased into it. And I realized that we need help, right? Business owners, we can’t do it all alone.
If you try to do it all alone, there’s only so far that you’re going to go without screwing it up, right? And at some point, you’re going to be falling asleep thinking of your to do list just one more time. And you’re going to be with your kids, worried that you’re missing something up. And so, one of the biggest steps that I took was to bring on an assistant for myself.
And then, after bringing on an assistant, was really looking to how, and this is actually where I became a teacher, because I’ve never considered myself a teacher, but I needed help. And I had finally solved the money problem for myself, which was awesome. And I remember being in those Mastermind groups and hearing people say, it’s not about the money, it’s about the impact that I can have.
And I was like, you guys are so full of crap. It’s 100% about the money. And it wasn’t until I solved that money problem for myself that I really understood. I really did want world peace, right? I felt like a beauty queen. I was like, it really is about the impact that I can have now, because why would I keep pushing? Why would I keep growing this thing?
And I looked behind me and saw that there were so many writers who were struggling to make ends meet and who are so incredibly talented. And I thought I have the platform, I have the spotlight, I have the clients, can I teach them to do what I’ve done? And the answer was, yes, right?
And so, I actually went into a Facebook group that a friend of mine ran, and I put up a post and I was like, “Hey, I’m running an agency, I’ve got more clients than I know what to do with and I’m looking to hire some writers, I will walk you for free through my process over the next six weeks. And if at the end of it, you’re a good fit, I’ll bring you on to work with us.”
And I thought I was going to get two or three people and I got 25 people raise their hand. I took them through the process. And at the end of it, I think there was five or six that I brought on as contractors. And that’s how we’ve worked. We typically pay people per piece. And so, we have recurring clients, we function as an outsourced marketing department for larger brands. We basically, if it has words, we’ll do it.
So, we do video scripts, we do five-minute webinars, we do tone of voice documents, which are one of the newest things that we’re doing, and I absolutely love doing them. Emails, sales pages, like all the things.
Kira: How else does that structure today with your agency? You mentioned multiple contractors working on individual projects. What is your role in there? Are you copy chiefing? Are you also training and how… yeah, what do you do every day with that team?
Yara: Yeah. So, I’m acting more as a copy chief these days. For a while, I was editor. I didn’t like that. So, I was like, well, let me… I brought on proofreader and she’s proofreader/editor. And I train, I train all of my writers. So, anytime that I do a training for a group, I run a group coaching program, anytime that I do a training in there, it’s like, hey, come in and watch it.
They’re part of the Facebook group, so they can leave feedback for people when they post their writing. I wouldn’t say that it’s super dialed in, because that’s not the person I am, right? I I’m with somebody who’s very systems and processes oriented, and yet I’m over here bucking the system. And so, it’s very loosely structured.
I’m like, I give you the creative bandwidth to create the pieces that you need to create but this is the box that they need to fit into, right? And so, within that box, you do whatever you want, nothing leaves my agency without me having read it, though. So, once it’s written, once it’s proofed and edited, I go through it and then I send it out to the client, so that I know the conversation that we’re having about the pieces when any revisions or tweaks or edits come in.
Kira: But how do you keep the agency from getting out of control with too much business, or just so much work, so many clients that you feel spread too thin, or you need to clone yourself, how do you manage that within that agency structure?
Yara: Yeah. So, we use Asana. And we’re really good with tracking progress, and how long it takes people to do certain things. And so, I can look at my individual writers and see what their bandwidth is. And whenever I have something that I’m like, hey, we’re going to need to turn around a sales page and 25 emails, and some affiliate promo emails in the next seven days. I’ll reach out to them and say, I’d like for you to work on this project, do you have the bandwidth available, right?
And what’s really cool is that because I’ve created this company-wide training and this method for writing the stuff that we write, I can have two or three writers work on the same project if I need to. It’s not my preference, I would much rather have one person keep the tone and voice of everything, but it’s worked out really well in those pinch situations where we do need to bring a couple people in to work on something, because we work so well as a team, right?
And I think that’s one of the things that, again, I’ve been really fortunate to find people who just click culture wise, where it’s like, “Hey, can you take a look at what so and so wrote and make sure that it’s on brand with what you’ve envisioned,” right? And so, they have real creative direction when needed.
Kira: And can you talk about your method that you teach, those trainings that you teach to your copywriters?
Yara: Yeah, absolutely. So, we do, what I like to call story selling. And I wish that I’d known there was a book called story selling before, I called my process story selling. It’s a six-step method. And it’s really about just being real with your audience and helping them have that epiphany, right along with you, right?
So, I like to tell people that we’re not ever telling our stories in service of ourselves. It doesn’t feel good necessarily to go back to those deep dark moments, or to those challenging spots, or to when you were face to face with that obstacle. We don’t tell those stories, because we think it’s awesome.
We’re telling those stories in service of our audience, in the hopes that by listening to that story, they will themselves find the answer that they’re looking for, right? And so, I can walk you through the steps if you want. Hopefully, I’ll remember them. That’s so funny.
Kira: At least, I would love to focus on the epiphany, if that’s, I don’t know if that’s one step or it’s connected to multiple steps, but how you reverse engineer that, because I don’t think that’s easy to do. So, if we can focus on that step, that would be great.
Yara: Yeah, absolutely. So, the epiphany is, have you ever watched a gymnastics competition, where or maybe even a gymnastics practice, where the girl is tumbling or the guys tumbling? Are you a gymnast?
Kira: I was going to say, I used to do gymnastics back in the day. I wasn’t very good. And I was too tall for it, but I did do it. And my sister was really good. So, I watched her, so, yes.
Yara: Oh, awesome, okay. So then, you’ve seen the coach when he’s spotting the tumbler, right?
Yara: And there’s always, just got their hand there, just in case, right? And I think that this is the best analogy that I’ve found to explain to people how our story serves our audience, right? I’m always, always, always speaking to the highest and best, most enlightened version of my reader. I’m never going to be condescending to them, or talk down to them, or pretend like I’ve got it all figured out.
Most of the time, I’m like, listen, I’m a person just like you. It’s a hot mess back here, but I’m really, really good at these five things, right? And if I can help you with any one of these five things, I’m going to do everything in my power to do that. As a matter of fact, let me tell you this story about before I knew what I was doing.
This is what I was experiencing. These are the things I was thinking. This is how I was feeling. These are the fears that I had. This is what the people around me were telling me, but then I went to this conference, I met this person, I read this book, I had this experience, I had an aha moment. And ever since then, I’ve understood just like you understand that X, Y, Z is actually the truth, right?
And so, we walk them across that bridge, we go back to before we knew the thing that we’re going to share with them. We tell them about the experience that caused us to have that revelation. And then, we explained to them what life has been like since then.
And so, I used to watch cartoons when I was a little kid, I’m sure you did, too. And I was the kid that was like, I’m going to be Rainbow Brite. I want to be Shira, right? You call out the character, the protagonists that you want to follow along on the story with.
And so, our desire as writers is that our reader will choose us as the character that they’re going to go along with and learn the same lessons, right? And so, what we’re really doing for them is that we’re tying together the milestone moments, as I like to call them, in your journey to becoming the person that can help them so that it makes sense to them, right?
If I tell you, I was going through divorce, and I became a Relationship Coach, and now I’m a copywriter, you’re like, wait a minute, there’s a lot missing here. That doesn’t make sense. Why do I want you to write for my business? But if I tell you, as a Relationship Coach, I figured out that the biggest problem we have in communication one-to-one is that we’re so afraid to be seen as who we are, because we’re afraid that we’re not good enough and that we won’t be loved.
And as I looked around our masterminds, I realized that entrepreneurs were having the same problem. They were just having it on a scale of one to many. And so, I realized that if I could help entrepreneurs tell their story in a way that turned their stopping points into stepping stones, I could help their audiences fall in love with them and I could help them show up authentically and consistently and actually generate income from their email audiences.
Now, you’re like, oh, that totally makes sense, right? So, we have to connect those dots for our readers.
Kira: And where do you feel like most of us, most copywriters, not all copywriters, but we mess this up when we’re trying to create this relationship with our reader, and we’re trying to create this epiphany, where do we go wrong?
Yara: So many places. I think one of the main places is focusing the copy on the product or the company, right? So much of the copy that I see out there is company and product-centric. And I’m like, you guys, we have to be customer-centric. This has to be about the customer and their wants and their needs and their story.
Like I said, we’re telling our story in service of them. And so, it’s not, oh, I’m going to beach in Florida, and I extended my vacation two weeks because I’m so awesome. It’s, I remember when I couldn’t do that. And I remember how frustrating it was when all I could bring in was $2,500 per month no matter how hard I tried.
And then, X, Y, Z happened, and now I’m in this situation, right? You got to package it up for them in a way that they’ll accept it. I tell the story, so I have a friend, she at home. And if he ever gets sick, and I take him to the vet, they’re going to give me medicine that I’m going to have to give him and he’s going to want absolutely no part of it. He wants to know part of it. But if I wrap it in a piece of cheese, he’s going to gobble it down, and he’s going to get the benefit of it, right?
And so, it’s the same with our readers. It’s the same with us, right? We don’t want to take the medicine, we want to pick up the piece of candy and eat that. So, if the medicine is wrapped up inside of that candy, we’re going to get the benefit of it, right? It’s the epitome of sell them what they want, and give them what they need. With a story, with an email, with a sales page, we’re going to present them with what they want and at some point, we’re going to pivot the message and say, “I know that’s what you want, but let me tell you about the thing that you actually need, and how that’s going to create what you want for you.”
Rob: Okay, let’s take a minute and break some of this stuff down. Early on, Yara mentioned the negative inspiration that she got from people who were telling her that she could always get a job at Nordstrom. I love this, because I think so many of us have had that, when we start this dream of trying to figure out like, how do I freelance or how can I be a copywriter, or how do I start working for myself?
And there are a lot of people around us who may say, it’s not going to work out or they don’t believe in the vision and may have even said things like, what people said to Yara. You can always work at Nordstrom or you can always, I don’t know, flip burgers or work for Starbucks or whatever. And I just think it’s interesting.
We are surrounded by all these people, some of whom may believe in our service, some who don’t believe in us, but it’s just a reminder that we need to surround ourselves with people that are doing similar things to what we’re doing that have similar dreams, and that want to accomplish the same kinds of businesses that we want t build for ourselves.
So, whether that’s in a group like The Copywriter Club, the Facebook group, where so many people have started out, or a paid group, and we have paid groups, but obviously, we’re not the only ones out there with paid groups. It’s just really smart to surround yourself with people who believe in your dream. What do you think?
Kira: I love negative inspiration. I do really well when people tell me I can’t do things. That’s just the inner contrarian. I remember when I was 15 and working at my first restaurant and I was very shy and more introverted. And I remember, my friend got a job at the same restaurant and I was working in the back, I was actually doing the dishes and I wasn’t waitressing yet. And my friends started waitressing right away.
And I remember the owner said something like, “Oh, Kira, you don’t want to start waitressing. You’re not ready for that. You can’t really do that.” And that fired me up. So, I got out of the kitchen, stopped washing dishes and started waiting tables, even though I was terrified, because they told me I couldn’t do it, and I wouldn’t be good at it.
And so, I think that drives a lot of us. And so, I say bring on the negative inspiration because, we, as entrepreneurs tend to do really well with that.
Rob: Yeah. Now, I’m thinking through what kinds of things can I say to you that will inspire you negatively, telling you the things you can’t do that I really want you to do.
Kira: Yeah, yeah, if you can reverse engineer that in your favor, go for it.
Rob: Go make it work. So, I know last week, when we talked with Jared MacDonald, he talked a lot about empathy and building and what it takes to have empathy and building that into the process. And I just think that pairing what he said last week with what Yara is talking about in this episode about empathy is also really interesting.
And if you’re grooving on what she’s sharing in this episode, make sure that you go back and listen to what Jared shared as well, because I think they go hand in hand together.
Kira: Yes. And I love that we talked about relationships. We don’t always get a chance to talk about relationships, I know. I forget the episode where we start talking about love and romance at one point, that was maybe 100 episodes ago. But I’m glad and grateful that Yara was willing to open up and talk about her divorce and her relationship and a harder time in her life.
And I think what she shared around being the common denominator really stood out to me. And I know she was talking more about her personal relationships at the time and how she was looking at them and realize like, some of them maybe broken and not as successful as she would have liked, and she really, she was the common denominator.
I think that apply to business really easily, especially if you feel like you’re working with a lot of bad clients, or you have a lot of client relationships that are a struggle repeatedly. And you start to notice that pattern. Sometimes even though it could be painful, it might be that we are the common denominator, if all of our clients are awful clients, what do they all share in common? It’s us. So, I think that does show up in business a lot and is worth paying attention to.
Rob: Yeah, I could not agree more with that. When you look at the things that are going wrong in your business, when you start to see the repetition in those things, you know that it’s a problem that comes down to something that is in your control. It’s definitely not outside control.
And I’m not talking about problems that happen once in a while or one time or whatever. When you start to see things over and over and over, we need to recognize there’s something that we are doing or something that we are not doing on our business that is causing this and we need to look deeper. So, I think that’s really wise comment that she made.
Again, she was applying to her own personal relationships, but it applies to everything that we do.
Kira: Yes. What else stood out to you, Rob?
Rob: So, I also love the fact that she goes all in on her business, when she’s doing this coaching thing, she gets the opportunity, writes some copy, replaces her income with that first client and immediately makes the switch like, quits coaching, goes all in on copy. And I think that, we’ve seen this happen a lot of times where people want to be copywriters, but they hesitate to go all in because, maybe they have to give up a pretty decent paycheck or maybe they’re on some kind of a career track there’s options for them if they don’t lean all the way in.
And so, they keep doing copy as, as maybe a side hustle, or they’re not succeeding quite as much as they could, where if you burn the ships, if you go all in on something and you’re forced to make it work, oftentimes, you can see that success. And I think Yara is proof that that works. I’m not saying that’s right for everybody in every situation. Obviously, people need to make sure that they have that opportunity, that they’ve got an idea of where they’re going, but Yara proves that you can burn the ships. You can go all in on your thing and make it work.
Kira: Yes, I love that message. And I also like what she shared about the example of reading the John Carlton book and losing her voice along the way because then she started to question her own writing. And that happens so frequently to copywriters we talked to. It’s happened to me before.
And so, I think it’s just a really good reminder that if that continues to happen, to make a change and avoid that from happening, and that could mean pulling back from taking every single course or pulling back from Instagram, so you’re not reading every one and all the other copywriter’s Instagram captions and starting to question your own voice.
So, I think it’s tricky because we want to stay relevant in the industry, we want to learn, we want to develop new skills, and oftentimes that requires learning from colleagues and peers, which is great. But if you are someone who tends to lose your own voice easily, it might be worthwhile to just be really careful about what you consume, so that you don’t feel like you’re losing yourself along the way.
Rob: Yeah, I think especially when we’re starting out, we feel like, if we’re going to talk about this thing that we are an expert in, or that we’re at least building expertise in, that we need to talk about it in a way that’s similar to what everybody else is doing, or the things that they’re saying. And that just isn’t true.
They are unique ways to talk about this stuff. Maybe there’s some crossover, maybe it sounds a little bit like somebody that you’ve heard, but the more you talk about it yourself or write about it, the more that you think about it, you’re going to bring your own voice to it. And you’re right. Again, I agree 100%, Yara.
It’s like, if you’re reading a book that makes you think, oh, my gosh, I’ve got to do everything perfectly, or we start to put pressure on ourselves, we’re not screwing up, we’re not doing this wrong, you might be trying to take a step back and say, “Okay, what do I bring to the table? How can I make a difference? How can I serve my client? What’s the problem that I can solve?” And not worry so much about the way everybody else has done it.
Kira: Yeah, I mean, put down the book. We don’t have to finish the book. Or if you’re reading some another copywriter, or another marketer’s email because you’re on their list, stop reading the email, if it’s triggering the imposter syndrome, and get off their list and so we can control those little things. And it’s not worth potentially losing your own voice and your own confidence, and even maybe questioning your own business.
Rob: Yeah, 100% agree.
Kira: All right, let’s go back to our interview with Yara and talk about her frameworks.
And this framework that you’ve developed with the six steps, is that something that you work on with emails mostly today? I know you said you do VSL. You’re up to doing anything, but I know you’re also focused on email. So, what does that typical project look like today?
Yara: Yeah. So, we will typically do, I’ve created a couple different frameworks. So, we have the story selling framework, which is what we’re referencing right now, which is a six-step framework that really just walks you through the six steps that I noticed as I was personally writing all of the emails. I had a notebook on my desk. And every time I did something over and over and over again, I just wrote down what I was doing, and that’s how that was born. And that’s what I trained all of my writers on.
Next, I created a subscriber reviver, which is one of the things that I would say I’m most known for is helping people revive their audiences after having ghosted them. And that’s a three-email framework or sequence. And it’s really how you come back to the conversation. I think the biggest mistake I watch people make is apologize like, “I’m so sorry that I’ve been gone, I neglected you. It’s because X, Y, Z.
And I’m like, nobody cares. I’m like, you just got to bust through the wall like the Kool-Aid man and be like, I’m back, right, and bring that energy of awesome. And so, it’s really, I’m back. What I’m so excited about, and then an invitation for you to join me on that journey, right? And so, that’s where we really start with most people. Because, I mean, I think it’s close to 68% of entrepreneurs, or list owners aren’t emailing their audiences
And so, I’m like, come on, it’s okay, let’s just get this done. From there, I’ll take them into the warm-up sequence, which answers the six questions that I believe every prospect has on their mind when they join your email list, or come into your world period, right? And that’s, who are you, where did you come from, what do you do, how did you earn it or learn it, who do you do it for, and then how can you do it for me, right?
And so, those are really, I would say, the sequences that we’re most often doing. When our clients are happy, and they want to keep going with us, a lot of times, they’ll join my group coaching and say, “Okay, how do I do this now?” Or they’ll just ask us to take over that nurture of the audience for them. And so, we still do the 12 emails per month situation, or we’ll work with people in copy blocks, where it’s like, sometimes you need emails, sometimes you need a sales page, sometimes you need social posts, sometimes you want blogs or articles.
And so, we made that really flexible for people and that they can get one copy block, or they can stop copy blocks, really, depending on how much work they need done.
Kira: Can you talk more about the copy blocks? That sounds cool. I mean, we’ve talked about day rates on the show, is it more of a day rate or is it a couple hours, or how do they purchase that?
Yara: So, for us, it’s what we put in the copy block to what makes it up, right? So, I have people who are, I want to email my people once a week but I don’t have a very big budget, I also don’t have time or desire to write these emails. And so, I’m like, okay, one copy block will cover 12 emails for you. And you can send one out per week, and you’ve got 12 weeks of emails.
At that point, my desire is that there’s an ROI on those emails. So, we can either up the amount of emails that you’re sending per week, or we can just do another copy block, right? We’ve done it to where it’s six blog posts, and six emails, or one sales page, or maybe somebody wants a script for a couple of video scripts or something like that.
So, it’s really a way that allowed me to simplify my quotes, and really move through projects really quickly and make it reasonably priced, I think, for my entrepreneurs. I have really great relationships with people in the startup space. And so, I find that, if I’m like, oh, it’s going to be $10,000 for a sales page, there’s very few people that are in a position to do that.
Although, I know that it’s well worth it, but I’m like, I would much rather, like my heart really is to serve the entrepreneur and getting their message out into the world, because that helps me leverage my message out into the world. And so, I’m like, I can do a copy block for $3,000 and write 12 emails, or I can do a copy block for $3,000 and have it be a sales page, or I can do a copy block and have it be six blog posts and handful of articles.
And it doesn’t really make a difference for me. There’s obviously projects that are bigger and more involved and more time-consuming and that requires strategy and a content calendar, and a promotion calendar and all of those things. And that’s a different story. But I really wanted to make good copy that will convert and connect accessible for business owners. And I think that this has been my way of doing that.
Kira: Yeah, I love that. And how do you look at that time in the copy block so that you’re protecting your own boundaries, and also not bleeding into the next day and the next day, the next day, because also perfectionist tendencies tend to kick into, how do you protect your time there?
Yara: I think that it’s, really, I’ve left that up to my writers. I’m like, I give all of my writers seven to 10 days to turn any of their projects around, whether it’s a sales page, or it’s 24 emails, or however long. And if they need to be delivered in increments, I’m also fine with that.
I think that it’s probably less time management and more client expectation management, right? Because I’m very upfront with people, I’m just like, you’re not going to hear from us until x date. And that’s that, and I stick to that. People check in with me, or they want to nudge the deadline. I’m like, no, this is the deadline that we se. We never miss a deadline. And that’s when you’re going to get your stuff. And that’s what you signed up for.
So, we’re good, right? And they all are. I’ve had those moments where I’m like, oh, it’s Sunday, and somebody messaged me and said that they want their email today. And I’m like, I’m not doing that to myself or to my writers, we have an upfront contract. I mean, that might even go back to the question you asked me earlier of what were the things I learned about relationship.
And having an upfront contract is super important, right? This is what I said I was going to do, and this is what we agreed on. And we’re going to do that, right? And if we’re going to change that, we both need to be on board with it. And that carries through to business and to your deliverables, too, right? Whether you’re the one doing a service, or they’re the ones delivering on the promise.
When I look at a customer that I’m going to write for, I want to make sure that they’re good people, that their product actually does what it says that it’s going to do, and that they’re going to provide exceptional customer service because I’m not going to lend my voice or my words or my skill to perpetuate alive in the world, right. And so, I’ve turned people away for that too. It’s crazy.
Kira: I want to go back to your writers again, because I have a feeling this question might pop up for listeners. So, how do you like to think about paying your writers on your team? Again, this question pops up all the time in our community, as far as how to structure it, percentages, how do you think through that and approach it?
Yara: I’m really clear with them that I pay per piece. So, all of my emails are paid per piece. And they invoice me because they’re contractors. And we keep track of everything through our project management system. So, as they submit their invoices, we fact check it against what we’ve got and I think it’s never not lined up, which is awesome.
And then, let’s say, there’s a sales page or a bigger project comes through, I will sit with them and say, “This is the project, this is what’s expected. This is the length, the time commitment, or whatever we expect for this project, quoted out for me,” right? And so, I really do let them set their price. And it either works for me or it doesn’t.
But I’m also not bound to… I have two employee writers that are my only choices. I’m like, I’ve got seven or eight people that I can go to and I can choose the one that makes sense for me. I also look at what are their strengths and weaknesses, right? Not everybody likes writing sales pages, not everyone likes writing emails. Very few people I find like writing social media captions.
And so, I go through, I don’t know, my stable of writers and say, “Okay, this is a project that’s come in, who do I think would be a good fit?” And now, let’s have conversations with them to see if it makes financial sense as well. And I’d venture to say that the majority of my writers are super, super happy, because they’ve been with us for years at this point.
And it’s awesome, because we’ve really learned to not only develop them, but also help them shine, right, in the areas where it’s just like, holy crap, you’re amazing at that. And I want to help that sparkle, right? I don’t want to keep you hidden from the world. Go do your thing.
And I think one of the other really cool things is that as their own businesses have grown, I’ll get boxes or messages where they’re just like, “Hey, I’m having trouble with this client, or how much should I put for this other thing?” And it’s that’s really exciting for me, and it really lights me up.
Kira: So, we’ve talked about a lot of the successes you’ve had as you’ve built this agency, and you’ve grown your own business. Let’s talk about the flip side, and where you’ve struggled the most as you built your business. What are some of the harder moments that maybe we don’t talk about enough, even recent moments that are struggles.
Yara: So, I think, initially, seeing myself as a business owner was really, really difficult, even seeing myself as an entrepreneur. I had always told myself this story that I was a great number two. I’m amazing at helping other people shine and just hanging back and fanning their flames.
And in the relationship that I’m in, I kept trying to do that, right? I was just like, you go be amazing. You go shine. And every time I would put him in front of me, he would step aside and he was like, well, you shine, too. And I hide behind him again, and he’d step aside and he’s like, you can do this.
And I hated him for it for a while. But as I got more comfortable with being the person that had something to say, that had something to share, I really had this realization that, oh, my gosh, I’m actually impacting people’s lives. I’m actually helping their businesses grow. And not only theirs, but their customers and their clients and their audiences, right? There was this big ripple effect that was happening.
Russell Brunson asked me to speak at Funnel Hacking Live in 2019. I’d never been on stage before. And he’s like, there’s going to be 4500 people there. And I think I ran the gamut. Yeah, I ran the gamut of emotions in like five seconds. I cried, I laughed, I broke down. It was just like everything happened at once. And the nine months, I think, leading up to that event, were some of the hardest months that I ever had, because, I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of feeling yourself growing.
I knew that I was being called to be something that I wasn’t yet. And I had a finite amount of time to become that person. And I think, leaning into that and really just being open about it, because every podcast interview that I did, every call that I had, people were like, “Are you excited?” And I was like, I’m as excited as I am nervous. Most of the time, I just want to throw up when I think about it.
And I had to solidify a lot of the thoughts that I was having in my mind about what I did so that I could communicate it to somebody. And I had to really believe and become convicted about what I had been saying on a small scale, because I was about to put a flag in the ground and be like, nope, this is what I do. And so, that was really, really difficult for me.
But when I got on stage, I remember just being like, oh, no, this is what I was meant to do. This is what I have to, it just clicked for me. I wish I could explain that better, but it was such an incredible process, but it was messy, like messy, it’s a lot of tears.
Kira: And I think we can catch that video on your website, right? Is that the one that’s posted on your website, the full video?
Yara: Yeah, yeah, it’s there.
Kira: Okay. Okay, so we can all see it and enjoy it.
Yara: Yeah. And this may actually resonate with a lot of people. The other thing that I had a really, really difficult time with was money. I had a horrible relationship with money. I grew up with two parents who were self-employed, which I’ve now found is very different than being entrepreneur.
They were self-employed. And so, money was always there or not there, is there or not there, right? It was these highs and lows. And my ex-husband was a real estate agent, very successful, but it was also highs and lows, right? And so, when I met James, it was the first time in my life that I’d ever experienced stability.
The money just went like this, right? It was climbing. And I would watch it, and I was like, what in the world is happening? How are you doing that? It was like magic to me. And I remember when we moved in together, we decided that it would be my responsibility with the limited means that I had, he’s like, well, just you be in charge of making sure the refrigerators filled with stock, stock the groceries.
And I remember that there were weeks when the refrigerator would be empty. And he’d be like, why haven’t you gone to the supermarket? Do you not have time or not feel like it? And I was like, oh, my God, I don’t have money to go to the grocery store. And it was tears of shame and guilt and desire and comparing myself to other people, and believing that I should be different than I was and that I should be further along than I was and that things should be different somehow than they were.
And it was really emotional for me to have this experience of money coming in, and then spending money, right? Investing money in people and in coaches and in Masterminds and equipment, like buying a computer, it was just so like, there was so much scarcity in my world, because there was moments of having and moments of not having anything.
And I think that when I was asked to write for this company, and I made that switch, I was like, I’m going to completely replace my income, and I’m shutting this business down, was the first time that I stepped fully into believing that the universe had my back. And I was like, if this is the thing I meant to do, I’ve just got to trust that there’s more than enough business, there’s more than enough work, there’s more than enough emails that need to be written and that I can have an impact here.
And that’s really when things completely changed for me, but it was blind faith, because up until that moment, I had just had such a tumultuous relationship with money.
Kira: And is there any other advice you’d give to that person who’s listening and can relate to that and is like, oh, I am that self-employed person where my income is fluctuating month to month. And I really want to get out of this position and become more steady in my income and more confident what I’m doing.
Yara: Yeah. I think my biggest piece of advice would be to be strategic about your offerings, and be strategic about how you’re setting up your contracts. This happened with my coaching, right, I was like, oh, I got a client and I’m going to work with them for 30 days. At the end of these 30 days, I was unemployed again, right?
And so, I needed to, and I had this happen over and over where I was selling. And then, as soon as I had people that said, yes, I would stop selling. And so, that was creating this up and down for me, right? And so, I had a coach and I remember, she said, well, extend your contracts to 30 days. And so, if you sell one this month for 30 days, and then you sell one next month for 30 days, now, you have, six months that are covered, but they’re staggered from each other.
And I was like, oh, that’s brilliant. And then, she was like, well, now, extend it to four months, right? And I was like, oh, this is brilliant, right? And so, it became this, I’m always selling, but I’m selling into the future so that I can forecast what my income is going to be in six months, 12 months, 18 months. And the more work you have coming in, the easier it is for you to do that.
I think the other thing I would really focus on is making sure that you have… I say this to my clients all the time, the reason that people are so obsessed with their unsubscribes typically, is because they don’t have a consistent way of bringing people onto their list. So, they believe that they have a limited amount of people to work with. And when those people are gone, poof, their business has gone and the opportunity is gone.
And so, when I created the challenge, Subscriber Reviver, it started bringing in people after people after people to where I was like, well, now, I’m saying no to working with people. So, I don’t really have a problem of what’s it going to be like in six months. I know the amount of people that are coming in, it became predictable.
So, that’s really helped to is making sure that you have a pool of, like a way to bring people into your world so that you’re not dependent on that one customer or that one contract or making sure that you have work or you can’t feed your family. That’s super stressful. And I promise you that you’re not doing your best work in that situation. And you’re probably saying yes, that you should say no to.
Kira: Yeah, I think it goes back to a lot of what you shared today about having an abundant mindset versus a scarcity mindset and the difference that can make in every area of your business. So, I know we’re almost at time, I want to respect your time. Do you have time for two more questions?
Yara: No, I have time.
Kira: Okay. Rob has been texting me questions that we’re supposed to. Oh, Rob, can’t like, he just can’t get in here with the questions. So, he has been involved in listening, and he is really enjoying the interview.
Yara: Oh, good.
Kira: So, let’s cover, because we met through Todd Brown, a mentor to both of us, I would love to hear if there is a particular lesson or just aha moment that stood out for you as you’ve worked with Todd in the Mastermind that we’ve been in.
Yara: Yeah. Oh, my gosh, I think the very first, because we joined Top One, and I think our next group thing was within days of it, which was really, really cool. I think that for the last six, maybe seven years, I’ve really been feeling my way through business, and copy, and marketing. My feeling has led me well.
And I’ve been surrounded with a community of amazing people, but that is very tactic and hacks and that mentality-driven. And so, I found myself as very much the oddball and I was like, well, I don’t want any of that. So, I rejected all of that. And I was doing things my own way.
And I think meeting Todd, I was struck by his integrity, and his real honest desire to help business owners. And he’s so incredibly logical. And if you haven’t figured it out by now, like we’re big into personality profiling. So, if you’re into Myers & Briggs at all, I’m an INFP. So, I’m about as feeling-oriented as you can get. And James, my partner, is-
Kira: I am too.
Yara: Are you? Yeah. I’m not surprised. James, my partner is an ENTJ. So, he’s about as logical as you can get. And so, together, I’m the meadow and he’s the factory. And so, when I met Todd, I was like, I feel like you’re somewhere in between, like he straddles both worlds.
And so, when he started sharing his frameworks, and I went through E5 and how he just breaks everything down into a pattern and a formula and a strategy, I was like, you’re making sense of all of these things that I’ve innately somehow known and stumbled into, but now there’s something I can follow.
And that’s, that’s been pretty magical, because I don’t necessarily sit with it open on my desk when I’m writing, but their seeds that he’s planted that take root and do their thing in my work now. And when I have a question of like, well, how should I approach this piece or this campaign, I can go through and be like, oh, this is what I can focus on, right? Or this is how I can present this.
And I think that’s been really, really powerful specifically with the marketing argument. I think that’s been a game changer for me.
Kira: Yeah, and I wanted to ask this question earlier, and then I just skipped over it, but I want to go back to it because you touched on it. How do you view the balance today of staying true to your own self writing style, your own intuition, not comparing yourself to others, but also learning and then being in these groups where you are surrounded by colleagues and maybe even people, other copywriters, other marketers who work on similar projects.
How do you continue to learn, while also staying true to yourself and not losing yourself? In that book that you originally purchased were like, I have to read this book to become a successful copywriter. What is that balance?
Yara: What a great question. I think, honestly, if I’m being totally honest, it’s something that I still struggle with. I think that there’s a little bit of, there’s a part of me that’s like, I don’t want to hear what anybody else is saying, because I want my writing and my style and my frameworks and my strategy to be pure somehow, but it’s not.
We are the culmination of every conversation we’ve had, every experience that we’ve had, every place that we’ve been. And so, I think the real balance that I found is giving credit where credit is due, right? If I learned something from Todd, I’m going to say, I learned this from Todd, isn’t it amazing? I learned something from Russell or from Shanda, or from anyone else in my space, I always do my best to give credit.
I think the problem with that is that sometimes we assimilate things to the point where we believe that they’re ours, right? We believe that we came up with them. And I don’t think that it comes from a place of wanting to deceive people, it’s simply I’ve taken this and assimilated it, and put my own stuff in it, and now it’s mine, but this is probably where it originally came from, or where I heard it first.
So, I think that’s been the balance. I also really enjoy, I just naturally see patterns everywhere. And so, like I’ll watch nature documentaries, and I love the sound of David Attenborough’s voice and watching the animals do their thing. And I think because at the end of the day, we’re animals, right? We’re humans, and there’s human nature and there’s nature’s way.
And so, I like to find things outside of business and outside of copy and outside of psychology that I can bring in and be like, see, it’s like this, because I feel like more people will understand that. And so, finding influenced and ideas in places other than the expected places is one of the other ways that I think I’ve tried to bridge that.
Kira: Yeah, okay. So, let’s talk about what’s next for you, what’s coming up as we wrap up this conversation. I know, I could keep chatting with you for an hour and asking you questions, but what are you working out? What are you excited about right now?
Yara: Oh, man. James has built his consultancy and I built my copywriting agency, completely separate of each other. And it was by design, because I wanted to be the damsel in distress when he met me. And I was like, congratulations, you get to take care of me and the kids now. And you’re like, that’s not how this is going to work, that didn’t compute for me.
And we had the conversation and he said, the damsel in distress bit gets old and the knight in shining armor gets rusty. He’s like, I would really love to have a partner in our lives, in our business and all of these things. And he says, but you don’t know what you’re doing right now. So, you’ve got to learn.
And naively I was like, okay, that will be fine. And there are plenty of nights when I cried my eyes out and I regretted my decision. But funny enough, when I got on stage at Funnel Hacking Live, I was like, this is a full circle moment for me, because five years from when we had that conversation, I’m standing on stage in front of entrepreneurs, teaching them how to do something, right? I was like, wow, this is monumental.
Anyway, so fast forward to today, I’ve learned a lot. And we’ve started really collaborating on a lot of projects. And so, our companies are merging right now. And we’ve taken on some projects where we do the outsource marketing department for bigger companies. And we’ve taken on some funnel builds, where we do everything soup to nuts, helped create the project, done the sales page, run the marketing, the whole thing.
And so, that’s something that’s super exciting. It’s testing us. It’s messy, right, because we’ve got to learn about capacity and who’s sitting where in the org chart and who’s in charge of what and how are we managing the team and all of these things, but, oh, man, it is so amazing to sit with somebody and see the ember of an idea that they have, where they’re just like, this is what I want to do. This is the impact that I want to have in the world.
And know that we have the horsepower to actually make that happen. And that we have the team behind it that can implement it and then you get it out the door and in six to eight weeks, you’re just like, this thing didn’t even exist. And now, we were able to create it, has been so exciting and so fulfilling, and so we’re really looking to streamline that whole process for ourselves and for our team so that we can push that out to people.
Kira: Let’s recap a couple more things before we wrap up this episode. So, Rob, during this part of the conversation, what resonated with you the most?
Rob: So, one of the things that I see happening all the time, and I’m really glad Yara mentioned this, is when you revive your dead list. If you haven’t been writing to your list in a while, even if you’ve missed a couple weeks, so many people start with an apology. And I love that she calls that out and says, don’t do it.
People don’t realize when we’re not in their inbox, we’re not that important. Just start off with the message do you want to share. So, if you’ve got a list that you haven’t mailed in, say three-and-a-half years, like some people that I know, or if you can just-
Kira: You’re talking to me?
Rob: Well, no, not necessarily just you. Since I haven’t emailed my own personal list, yeah, same amount of time, but, you don’t have to apologize and say, oh, my gosh, I haven’t been here for so long, or I’m really sorry that I didn’t show up. That doesn’t even make sense. People don’t miss us. They’re they don’t care. So, what’s there to be sorry about?
Just start in with a message, just start talking to them about the things that you know, just jump in and revive your list. It was a small thing, but when she said that, I’m like, yes, bravo, more of that, let’s make that really loud.
Kira: I’m glad you caught that. It makes me want to write that apology email to my list, because I haven’t emailed my list in like, I don’t know, four or five years. And so, I want to do the really obnoxious over the top apology just to be silly. So, yeah, and getting inspired.
Rob: Some of that negative inspiration. Yeah, it’s negative inspiration we’re talking about.
Kira: Yes, yes. Okay, so we also talked about copy blocks. And so, what do you think about copy blocks, first day rates, and all the different ways we can package or services?
Rob: Yeah. I mean, we’ve talked about day rates a ton of times on the podcast, and we already know, I don’t love day rates. I think, to me, it’s a really easy way to back into an hourly rate. I don’t love that sometimes they’re really nebulous, and it’s not always clear what you’re going to get at the end of the day, at least from the client standpoint.
So, I get they work, and I know, for some people, they work really well. And I’m certainly not saying don’t do them, we have people in the Think Tank who are killing it with day rates and VIP days and those kinds of things. But I really like what Yara’s talking about here, because with a copy block that you’re able to define a certain number of deliverables, it makes it really clear what you’re going to get for the price and being able to buy a copy block after copy block.
I’m not sure that there’s a fundamental difference between a copy block and a day rate, other than maybe a copy block is executed over several days, or in a different way. But I like that approach a little bit better. It makes sense to me, and the way that I think my clients think. What about you?
Kira: Yeah, I mean, I don’t have a strong preference of is a copy block or day rate. I love that we were able to talk about copy blocks and something different than day rates on the show. But I think ultimately, it comes down to packaging. Its packaging your services, being really clear about what they’re going to walk away with, whether it’s a day rate, or it’s a copy block.
Yara is really clear about like, this is what you’re going to get. And this is when we start and this is when we finish. So, I think the best part about anything like this that you can package is there’s a start time, there’s an end time, there are clear boundaries in place. There’s usually a clear process in place that you can work through, and then there’s a promise as far as what you’re going to get.
And so, I think that’s the most important part. And if those ingredients are missing, then it might be worth looking at your packaging again.
Rob: Yeah, and I might have misheard this when she was talking about this, but it sounded like she really cuts out everything except for the copy. There’s not a lot of research, there’s not like this huge front in thing. The client shows up with a need, she takes a pretty quick look at it, figures out, where can I make a difference, or what are the things that I can deliver, they’re going to help solve this problem, and she goes.
We talk a lot about research and how do you get to know the voice of the customer and all of this other stuff. And I think, Yara saying it’s not always that complex. You don’t always need to build that in. There are projects that come along, particularly in the industries that she works in, where you can actually just hammer stuff out and it will solve the problem and get you far enough along to make a difference.
Kira: Yeah, that’s the way I remember it, too. It’s just like, Yara is trying to work with people that she knows she can help and she wants to make it as easy as possible for them to hire her and pay for this copy block, so she can help them. And if she can strip anything out, and still deliver great results, she’ll do it. Yeah, I mean it’s doing that meaningful work. And it’s clear that she really cares about getting her clients’ results.
Rob: Yeah. I mean, when you do it that way, too, you’re showing up as a partner, the owner of your own business trying to help another owner of a business solve a problem, and not just as a copywriter who’s going to just write words or whatever, but you’re showing up help them solve a problem, which I like.
Kira: Yeah. And at this point, it’s like, I only want to work with people who view me as a partner. And I also try to work with people who could be potential friend. I’m always in a hunt for new friends. So, I am always looking for someone who respects what I bring to the table, and can bring something to the table as well. And so, I think the way you look at your clients, whether it’s a partnership, or you’re more of an order taker will impact how much you get paid oftentimes, and how much you enjoy the project and what you’re able to add to the project.
Rob: I think it’s also worth talking just a little bit about Yara’s experience being asked to speak at Funnel Hacking Live, and how that forced her to think about herself and her business differently. How she basically had to grow into the kind of person who would speak at a conference that large, that big, first time ever on a stage.
And I know we mentioned, when we’re talking to her, that that presentation is on her website. It’s definitely worth watching, because you watch it, and you don’t think that this is the first time on stage. She kills it with the content, but she’s very clearly stepped into a role. And I think those kinds of opportunities happen for us a lot. And we have to be willing to grab them.
When those opportunities come to present, your first response may be, oh, I’m not ready, but the immediate second response should be, what can I do to change, so that I am ready or so that I can be ready in time for this opportunity that’s just come along?
Kira: Yeah. And that’s why I’m a big fan of speaking, whether it’s on a stage or it could be a podcast, right, it could be pitching your first podcast and being a guest on a podcast, and growing into that challenge, which will take some prep and courage. So, I think those opportunities are always exciting.
Rob: I think the last thing that stood out to me in this portion of our interview with Yara is just how she was talking about how we assimilate information. When we’re learning about copywriting, or marketing, or whatever, we learn from all of these different experts. We read the books, we take the courses or whatever, and ultimately, the information becomes ours.
And we’ve talked a little bit about this recently as well, how do you talk about something that you’ve learned from somebody else in a way that becomes yours. I think we talked about it last on Episode number 230, just between you and I. But, ultimately, as we learn that it, it almost becomes ingrained in us where we don’t remember where we learned those kinds of things.
So, I do think we need to be a little bit careful about using other people’s frameworks or any of the intellectual property that they developed to talk about things, but general concepts and the learning that’s available in copywriting books, in copywriting courses or whatever, it’s not owned by anybody. And she points out, we all assimilate this until it becomes ours and who we are.
Kira: Yeah. And I think you get to a certain point and maybe we just hit these points along the way where you would have, like I said earlier, turn off all the courses and like, not stop reading, but just stop reading from maybe someone who’s very, does something very similar to you, just start curating your own knowledge and start creating your own frameworks and your own approach to copywriting and marketing.
And so, I think that we all approach that at a different time. And there’s no right or wrong time and it can change where we turn it on and turn it off. But I do feel like, I like being in the stage where you can work on projects. And I think the best way to develop your own concepts and IP and framework so you can teach, if you want to teach, is to work consistently on client projects. So, you’re doing it and you’re having your own takeaways, you have your own aha moments from the work that you’re actually doing.
But I know there’s a lot of training that comes along the way or before that and is so important. So, I’m not saying don’t do that, but at the same time know when maybe you can turn that off and just start paying attention to your own instinct when you’re working on your own projects. And like, oh, my gosh, I just did this differently and it worked really well or this didn’t work, I could talk about that. I could teach that and share that concept.
Rob: Yeah, I agree.
Kira: Okay. And one last thing I do want to mention that we talked a little bit about was how to create that income stability and how to be really strategic about how you set up your offers? And so, I think that’s really worth mentioning because so much of the time we get burnt out as copywriters because we’re jumping from project to project and we’re constantly looking for those new clients, or to fill VIP days.
And it doesn’t have to be that hard. We can set up our own offers, so you have an extended pay period. So, you’d have multiple offers, and maybe some can last for three months, maybe some can last for a year. And so, I think, if that’s a struggle for you, and it feels like feast or famine, and you’re on the roller coaster, then it might be worth looking at how you could repackage your offers, so you can work with your clients over a longer extended period of time, and you don’t have to worry about constantly be in the hustle cycle.
Rob: Yeah. What Yara share about just having stable income and the way that that can change your approach to everything, business and life, I think is really important. And, again, getting to an idea that maybe we’ve echoed a few times on the podcast before but you’re building your business. You do not need to build the same business that your coach built.
You don’t need to build the same business that somebody else in the Facebook group build. You don’t need to build the same business as anybody. You can make your business work for you. And if that’s different kinds of packages, different kinds of services, different industries, different ways that you extend out payments, whatever, having a business that serves your needs is the most important thing that you can do as you build your business.
Kira: And you can change it, right? Even if you’ve been doing it a certain way, at any point we can all change and say, that no longer works for me, but I’m going to test something new that could work better.
Rob: Exactly, yeah. And we should, we should be looking for opportunities to change things when we think they can be better. Thanks to Yara Golden for joining us to talk about her business, her career path, her packages and so much more. You can find out more about her at yaragolden.com. That’s Y-A-R-A G-O-L-D-E-N, yaragolden.com, and be sure to check out the presentation that she gave it from Funnel Hacking Live that we mentioned a couple times during this podcast, it’s on her site. I’ve watched it and it is really good.
Kira: That’s the end of this episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. Our intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter, Addison Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter David Muntner. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, please visit Apple podcast to leave your review of the show.
Rob, how much would this mean to you if someone left a review of the show?
Rob: Oh, my gosh, I might cry if a nice enough review. It’s fun to get them and it’s good for helping other people find us. So, please, yeah, leave a review, if you haven’t done it already.
Kira: Okay. And if you’re ready to invest in yourself and your copywriting business, and finally achieve some of those big impossible goals, visit copywriterthinktank.com. We add a couple of new members each month, and this month it could be you, but only if you visit copywriterthinktank.com.
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.